How I Live With Anxiety
In my previous article, I made a declaration on how anxiety will not get the best of me on my good or bad days. There has been a request on the best ways I deal with my anxiety from day to day. Most of these tips I follow all the time. I soothe my soul a bit, knowing that I’m expressing myself.
Keeping a diary of emotions, thoughts, and worries allows me to express myself without having to talk to someone directly. Sometimes there are thoughts I just can’t get out of my head because it’s a continuous thought and emotion. Journaling is my escape.
What do I write?
I write every single thought. My emotions, worries, general thoughts, annotations, quotes and anything else that I know needs to be documented. To express emotion is important for those that are battling this illness. It allows for the release of emotions and feelings rather than suppression.
I keep a journal on my phone, in Notes. I write whenever I need to because sometimes my emotions just appear. So I write and release. I've been journaling for the past 3 years and I find that every time I journal, I have more to release, more to express, and more to discover about myself.
I have a therapist who I speak to twice a month. It's just like journaling but with someone who has professional expertise on my anxiety and evaluates those feelings without judgment. What's amazing about therapy is that they are paid professionals who help evaluate thoughts and feelings. As I talk to my therapist, I start realizing the origin of my emotions. But together, we come up with solutions to deal with certain situations.
Most importantly, I've come to learn how to cope and live with anxiety. It's not about curing it because I know my anxiety will come and go, but it's about learning how to cope with it every time it reappears.
You are not broken. You are breaking through.— Alex Myles
I've found this to be incredibly helpful. FIlling a room with a calming and comforting scent brings peace to my mind. Something about a soothing scent calms my mind and eases my breathing when I'm struggling with an anxiety attack.
I have scented candles all over my apartment. Some scents are of the ocean breeze or passionfruit; I have a mixture of candles that make me feel at ease. Tip: Some of the best candles I've found are in Target Clearance Sections.
InnoGear Portable Ultrasonic Diffuser
A diffuser has the same power as a candle.
I own the InnoGear Diffuser with a 150 ml capacity. It has 7 Color LEDs and an auto shut off feature when it runs out of water. I'll fill mine in the evening with a few drops of lavender and peppermint oil and meditate; breathing in those great relaxing scents. And then I'm able to fall asleep easily and peacefully.
I got my diffuser on Amazon for $16.99. I definitely recommend the investment in a diffuser and two or three essential oils.
Meditation has been my go-to method of relaxation for the past year. There was a point where I was doing it twice a day because my anxiety got so bad, I needed several moments in my day for myself.
My app of preference is Calm. It has different features including the Daily Calm, 21 Days of Calming Anxiety, and Breathe. I bought the premium membership for access to more app features. It's a great annual investment for those of us who need to practice peace of mind. Guided meditation has helped me shut down the factors that keep my mind awake.
5. Exercise - Lifting & Cardio
I've been an avid exercise junky. And I love to lift. My favorite exercises are deadlifts, pull-ups, chest presses, and squats. And I go as heavy as I can. When I exercise, it allows me to release that pent up emotion. And it exhausts my body so much it allows me to sleep at night. It gives me that peace of mind.
6. Healthy Eating
Anxiety has been linked to some vitamin deficiencies in our bodies. My therapist and some online articles have suggested eating foods rich in B12, Omega, and high protein. Included in this article is a link to an awesome article from Everyday Health regarding foods that help or hurt anxiety.
9 Foods That Help or Hurt Anxiety
- 9 Foods That Help or Hurt Anxiety | Everyday Health
Studies show that some foods boost mood while others worsen stress and anxiety. Learn which foods you should eat — and which foods you should avoid — to curb your symptoms.
And finally, sleep. A good 8 hours of sleep a night helps the mind rest and recover. On most days my anxiety flairs up, it's because I didn't sleep adequately the night before. For an adult female, 7-8 hours of rest a night helps my regenerate. If I get less than 7 hours of sleep, I feel groggy and tired. Bascially, the rest of my day is unproductive. And, worst of all, I tend to look for a coffee to perk me up, and then that causes jitters which trick my mind into thinking it's anxiety. Those are my worst days. But when I get restful sleep, my day seems more productive and I have a more positive outlook throughout the day.
I am no professional at coping with anxiety. And I'm still fairly new at combating this illness. These are the methods that currently work for me. It may not necessarily work for you but I urge you to try and find something that will help in coping with anxiety. It's not a curable illness, so we have to learn how to live with it day by day.
I am open to change and have replaced my anxiety with peaceful acceptance.